January 18, 2008 - Van Abbemuseum - Cuevas, Mik and Stilinovic
January 18, 2008

Cuevas, Mik and Stilinovic

Minerva Cuevas, Monkey with jacket, circa 1900; Aernout Mik, Training Ground, 2007; Mladen Stilinovic, Drawings from the cycle Exploitation of the Dead, 1984 – 1990

Minerva Cuevas
Aernout Mik
Mladen Stilinovic

26/01 – 04/05/2008

Van Abbemuseum
+31 [0]40 238 1000
info [​at​] vanabbemuseum.nl


On 26 January 2008 the trio exhibition Minerva Cuevas (Mexico, 1975), Aernout Mik (Amsterdam, 1962) and Mladen Stilinovic (Zagreb, 1947) opens in the Van Abbemuseum. The trio consists of three solo exhibitions and shows artistic positions that the Van Abbemuseum considers relevant today. This trio sets each in dialogue with another, providing points of comparison and difference. Each of the artists in this presentation relate to the artistic traditions of realism, drawing on small everyday realities and histories to tell stories about economy, perception and survival.

The solo exhibition shows an expanded series of new works including the projects Phenomena (2007), Social Entomology (2007) and Insect Concert (2007). Minerva Cuevas uses social issues and activism as they effect the virtual space of the Internet, museums or the urban sphere. Her exhibitions are not solely presentations of work but active environments in which images and artefacts are appropriated and reconfigured and the context of their reception is questioned. In this exhibition, Cuevas plays out her interest in the civilisational properties of science and the museum, exploring the concepts of ‘evolution’ and the opposition between notions of the ‘wild’ and the ‘civilized’.

Curators, cooperation & publication
Curated by Annie Fletcher and Magdalena Ziolkowska. Exhibition in cooperation with Kunsthalle Basel. Joint publication due October 2008.

Mik presents a part of the multichannel video installation that was received with great enthusiasm at the 52nd Venice Biennale. It consists of two works – Training Ground, 2007 and Convergencies, 2007. In the works, Mik presents a theme that is as topical as it is emotional: security. The two video installations address how western Europeans handle fear in bureaucratic and administrative terms today. Training Ground displays a fictional exercise in which policemen practise different methods for arresting refugees and maintaining order. In Convergencies Mik collages existing documentary material collected from various international press agencies. He takes the idea of the exercise as his point of departure for a study of ‘fear’ and how we anticipate ‘threats’ in order to reflect on the reasons why anxiety is such a dominant emotion in
affluent societies.

Curators, cooperation & publication
Curated by Charles Esche and Maria Hlavajova. Exhibition in cooperation with BAK – basis voor actuele kunst [Utrecht]. Joint publication: critical reader Citizens + Subjects published during the 52nd Biennale in Venice. ISBN: 978-3-905770-73-5.

Mladen Stilinovic’s work pivots around the issues of economy and media. It includes a selection from his personal production of over 70 artist books, and a number of large scale installations that deal with everyday reality in former Yugoslavia and today’s Croatia. For Stilinovic, art is not so much a political weapon as a safe haven where new relationships with reality can be entered into. The very limitations and manipulated illusions of that reality shape his absurd and motley material. In this exhibition, he focuses on money, using collages, photographs, artist’s books, paintings, installations, performances, films and videos to address economic and media-related themes. He adds an emotional dimension by displaying misleading copies or memories of the past in ironic and clearly constructed isolation. In doing so, he forces us to avoid safe clichés or lazy ideological backing.

Curators, cooperation & publication
Curated by Charles Esche and Vasif Kortun. Exhibition in cooperation with Platform Garanti – Centre for Contemporary Art [Istanbul, Turkey]. Joint publication: Artist’s Books. ISBN: 978-9944-5518-6-1.


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